It finally came the time for one of my most anticipated shows of this year. Antony & the Johnsons have been another of my favorite bands for the past few years, but during that time living here in the NYC area I hadn't been able to experience live the both fragile and powerful Antony Hegarty's voice. Of course it was amazing.
The lights went off and they pretty much stayed like that for the whole hour and fifteen minutes of the show. It was so good it felt shorter. Antony began singing a cover of Mysteries of Love, which you might remember if you watched David Lynch's Blue Velvet, and during which I had my first (of many) goose bumps of the night. Antony looked like an angel and he certainly sang like one, or probably even better.
Just in time for the release of his great new EP, Another World EP, which raises a lot my expectations for his upcoming new album, The Crying Light, Antony decided to preview his new material live. I was expecting renditions of these new beautiful songs, but they gave us only one of them, the moving EP title track. I wished he would have played more, particularly the spectacular Shake That Devil, but instead played four very new songs to appear on The Crying Light plus his now classics Cripple and the Starfish, River of Sorrow, I Fell In Love With A Dead Boy, my highlight of the night For Today I am A Boy, and a gracious cover of Beyonce's Crazy in Love.
For Today I Am A Boy was ridiculously good and hit me hard, as I am gay and came out only a year ago. One day I won't be a beautiful woman neither I want it to be, but I share the lament he had to go through, before fully empathizing with whom he wanted to be, to live peacefully with himself. I am sure Antony's voice filled the Apollo Theater like a Nina Simone must at least once have done it back in the days too, and made our eyes to water when reaching those high notes we love to hear from him. I had a cold, so I am half excused, but apparently I wasn't the only one with all the sniffing I heard around.
Although Antony's short tour only hit a couple of cities in USA and will be in London pretty soon, I hope he will be back later when his new album comes out for a for a more complete and longer set. See ya in 2009 then. [photos of the show]